Newcastle grind out a win in Sydney

Round 2 - Full Time : March 23rd 7.30pm St George Illawarra Dragons: 12 defeated by Newcastle Knights: 16 Venue: Oki Jubilee Stadium

Match Summary:

The Knights held on in a sometimes messy game, to take the win ove the Dragons at Oki Jubilee Stadium in front of 12,340 rather vocal supporters tonight.

Both sides at times were guilty of unforced errors after their tough matches in Round 1.

The game was close right from the first whistle with the Dragons taking the early lead only to be pegged back by the Knights just before the break. Newcastle went into halftime with a narrow 8-6 lead.

The second half saw the two sides becoming increasingly weary and guilty of silly mistakes. The Knights managing to hold out the best and take the hard fought win in the end.

St George Illawarra Dragons (12) Tries: Chase Stanley, Keith Lulia Goals: Wes Naiqama (2/3) Newcastle Knights (16) Tries: Clint Newton, James McManus, Brad Tighe, George Carmont Goals: Kurt Gidley (0/3), Daniel Abraham (0/1)

Referee: Steven Clark Crowd: 12,340

League Unlimited Commentary:

Teams are set for Round 2 of the 2007 season. A big crowd at Oki for the game tonight. Matt Cooper out for the Dragons, replaced by Chase Stanley. Knights are as per programme.

1 min: Knights kick off on a beautiful still night

3 min: Adam MacDougall very close to scoring for the Knights as he flies over the dead ball line following a deft little grubber by Mullen.

3 min: Woolford (Dragons) falls awkwardly in a tackle hurting his ankle and is aided from the field unlikely to return. Caine replaces him.

4 min: PENALTY GOAL St George Illawarra Dragons - Wes Naiqama St George Illawarra Dragons 2-0

9 min: TRY Newcastle Knights After a seesaw battle between the two sides, Newcastle are able to get close to their line. Newton hit the hole on the charge with a great ball from Mullen. Conversion attempt by Gidley unsuccessful. Newcastle Knights 4-2

15 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Stanley on debut, flies thru onto kick by Hornby and dots down in the corner. A nice start for the 17 year old, after an eternity waiting for the video ref. Conversion attempt by Wes Naiqama unsuccessful. Dragons 6-4

19 min: SeuSeu (Knights) cops a knock from Hornby's knee. Play stops briefly with the Dragons hot on attack.

21 min: A bit of niggle creeping in. Firstly Clark warns the Dragons, now the Knights get the same message after a high shot on Ryles.

22 min: Creagh (Dragons) retaliates to yet another high shot close to his line, but instead the penatly goes against him. The crowd voice their displeasure.

28 min: A hard tackle on Adam MacDougall close to the Dragons line, forcing the error, fires up the home side.

30 min: A penalty given to the Dragons close to their line is wasted as they take the tap with Lulia is forced over the sideline on the first tackle. No change in the score in this tight battle. Dragons 6-4

32 min: The Knights close to scoring after a releiving penalty helps them down the field. Solid defence by the Dragons nullifies the threat.

35 min: Line dropout for the Knights and once again the scrambling defence by the Dragons keeps the opposition from crossing the line.

39 min: Naiqama into the sin bin for a professional foul, coming from an offside position when the Knights were close to scoring.

39 min: TRY Newcastle Knights Following Naiqama's departure the Knights spread the ball out wide at speed, and McManus crosses over in the corner. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful. Newcastle Knights 8-6

Halftime: A very tough battle for the two sides.

41 min: The crowd goes wild as their team runs onto the field for the second half.

42 min: The Knights very close to scoring in their 1st set of the half as the Dragons seemed sluggish with ther tackles. Kurt Gidley allowed to run almost at will.

48 min: The Dragons holding on with Naiqama still off the field. Score remains unchanged

51 min: TRY St George Illawarra Dragons Josh Morris sets up Lulia on the 40 metre mark, and the young Dragons player scoots away to dot down under the posts. Naiqama back on the field Conversion attempt by Wes Naiqama successful. St George Illawarra Dragons 12-8

60 min: The Dragons starting to up the anti, forcing a line dropout with some great defence

65 min: The Knights are throwing everything at the Dragons. The Dragons letting silly errors rule their game. And yet the lead is still with the home side. Players from both sides starting to tire.St George Illawarra Dragons 12-8 St George Illawarra Dragons 12-8

68 min: TRY Newcastle Knights Continued pressure by Newcastle finally cracks the Dragons defence and Tighe gets a geat ball from Abraham to score Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful. 12 all

72 min: TRY Newcastle Knights The Knights are on a roll and back up the try to Tighe with another to Carmont. Abraham takes over kicking duties. Conversion attempt by Daniel Abraham unsuccessful. Newcastle Knights 16-12

76 min: The Dragos force an error 20 metres out from their line. The game could be won or lost in this next set. The crowd are right behind the home side.

77 min: Lulia scampers up the sideline on the 1st tackle but his pass inside is plucked up by a Newcastle player.

79 min: A kick to the in goal by Hornby (Dragons) looked to be a good one but with a bit of shielding by Adam MacDougall, goes out over the dead ball line.

Fulltime: A tough call for both sides to back up from their Round 1 battles. The game came down to the wire in the end. Player of the Match: 3 Points: Kurt Gidley 2 Points: Steve Simpson 1 Point: Chase Stanley